Confederate Flag: South Carolina House Approves Flag Removal
South Carolina House of Representatives has voted to take down the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds after a long and fractious debate.
The state House approval, by 93-27, follows a similar move in the Senate. After a final procedural vote, the bill will go to the governor for signature.
South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley supports the removal of the Confederate flag.
The backlash against the emblem grew when a gunman killed nine black people at a Charleston church last month.
Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old charged with the killings, was pictured holding the Confederate flag.
The Confederate flag – used by the South in the American Civil War (1860-65) – is seen by some as an icon of slavery and racism while others say it symbolizes the United States heritage and history.
The banner could now be removed within days.
The House vote was taken on July 9 after 13 hours of debate.
During a heated session, dozens of amendments by Republicans aimed at slowing down passage of the bill were rejected.
Some Republicans argued the flag was part of US history that had been “hijacked” by racists.
The Confederate flag was originally the battle emblem of the southern states in the American Civil War which tried to break away.
South Carolina was the first state to leave the union in 1860. It restored the flag in the capitol grounds more than 50 years ago in protest at the civil rights movement.